My favourite books/podcasts/tv shows

Hey everyone! So, I haven’t done one of these posts for a while–not because I was any busier than usual, I just I don’t consume media at that fast a rate I can put together a good post every week. I hope that makes sense! Anyway, here are some of my favourite things from the past god-knows-how-long-by-the-time-I-post-this, hopefully you enjoy. 🙂

Gideon The Ninth

Okay, so my friend let me borrow this book and oh my gosh, it is so cool. The worldbuilding! The characters! The prose! This book just kinda ticks all the boxes for me.

Simply put, it’s about lesbian necromancers in space–it’s wild and chaotic in the best way possible, without feeling poorly planned, unapologetically lavish and dramatic, and all at the same time manages to absolutely chew up your heart and spit it out on the floor. It follows Gideon, a servant indentured to the Ninth House–one part of a futuristic necromancer cult. (Or maybe they’re just a whole society? It’s never made clear if people exist outside of the cult, or this is just all that’s left of humanity, in this book anyway, I’m still reading the sequel.)

Gideon’s character is so interesting, because she’s bitter and sarcastic and deeply wounded by her past, but deep down has such a big heart, and is also just absolute chaos, I like her a lot. Anyway, her and her longtime nemesis Harrow–basically the princess of the Ninth House, and an incredibly powerful necromancer who’s been raised for glory and power and glory and power alone– are forced to team up, and I think you can see where this is going. Their relationship is so well-written, and. But there’s also, in no particular order: murder, like a lot of murder, political intrigue, super cool worldbuilding, the most gorgeously written fight scenes, and a lot more. This book has something for everyone, and I can’t recommend it enough.

The Left Right Game

Okay, so I just finished binge-listening to this podcast yesterday and HOLY SHIT! This is one of the most polished, elegant (for lack of better wording) shows I’ve listened to in ages. Now that I’ve worked on producing some audio stuff myself, I have such a deep respect for how much work must have been poured into every aspect of this show’s production.

I don’t want to spoil too much, but: this show follows Alice Sharmin, a twentysomething journalist working on what should have been a small, fifteen-minute radio piece on something known as the Left/Right Game, where you get in your car, take the nearest left, then the nearest right, and so on, until you reach the end of the road–checking up on reports of strange happenings that follow, should you follow this pattern for long enough. It’s fast-paced and full of exciting twists and turns, absolutely terrifying at times, but there are some real moments of beauty in between too, and the ending absolutely destroyed me, oh my gosh. You need to listen to this show!

The Dangerous Gift

So, as we’ve established, middle grade fantasy was pretty much my entire childhood, and where almost all of my positive memories of that time rest, honestly. Wings of Fire was one of those series that kinda raised me, I wrote a ton of fic for it when I was in middle school and I still do for fun sometimes. The world has always been this really safe, warm place for me to run too when my own stories were too wild and crazy to handle, and I’m really grateful to these books for giving me somewhere to figure out who I am, and grow up as a writer, I guess? I don’t know, they make me feel things, and anyway, the new book came out on March 2nd, and I’ve been absolutely losing my mind over it ever since.

For some quick context: Wings of Fire is this book series about a world full of dragons, who, rather than being magical props, have their own inner worlds and adventures, etc. And this one follows a young queen, Snowfall, who was forced to take over her kingdom after her mother was killed by a deadly plague. She struggles with anxiety about whether or not she’s a good enough queen, and doesn’t have a clue how to go about ruling her kingdom, which she loves so much, and just wants to serve as best she can. Her whole arc is about learning how to empathize with others, and become more secure in her own abilities. I don’t know, it really hit home for me, I could definitely relate to a lot of the things she goes through. We get some really interesting backstory in this book, too, and setup for the finale of this story arc. After I finished, I just kinda sat there for a while and stared at the wall, it was just so good, and made me feel all the feelings.

Like I said, these books have helped me through so much–I don’t know what exactly it is, but pretty much all of the characters I can connect to something I’ve gone through, which is either a wild coincidence, or a testament to how well they’re written. I don’t know where I’d be without them, and I’m just really glad they exist in the world.

Infinity Train

My friend got me into this show, and we finished the third season about a week ago, but I’ve kinda just been processing it ever since, because oh my god, it was so good. Infinity Train follows an endless, magical train designed to, essentially, force character development for the passengers, all of whom are taken aboard at some kind of impasse in their lives, and only let out when they feel better It’s definitely not as wholesome as it sounds though, or in any way a kids show, but I really love it–the worldbuilding is so cool, the characters are really well done, I love the art style, and also holy shit this show knows how to do horror good. It has some really interesting themes too–the source of a lot of the show’s horror is the idea of any one person being able to revoke another’s status as human, something that keeps coming back throughout each self-contained season, following one of the passengers on this train as they work through their issues. Its fourth and final season comes out in April, and I’m super excited!

Okay, I think that’s about all I have to gush about today! I don’t know how long it’s gonna take me to consume enough content to make another one of these posts again, but hopefully it’ll be soon. I’m gonna be offline this Friday, and I decided to take a break, but normal poetry posting is going to resume the week after this one.

Lots of love,

Lorna

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